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The main attractions in this area are Tulum's archeological site and the biosphere reserve at Sian Ka'an, but there are enough other diversions to keep you busy for a week or more. Expeditions to explore natural wonders are available through CESiaK (tel. 984/871-2499; www.cesiak.org). Excellent guides lead kayak tours in Sian Ka'an's canals, lagoons, and reefs for $45 (self-guided tours are also available for $20 single, $30 double). Sunset bird-watching tours are offered during migration season, December to May, for $70. Mexico Kan Tours (tel. 984/140-7870; www.mexicokantours.com) at Avenida Tulum and Centauro Sur in downtown Tulum uses local guides for boat tours through Sian Ka'an's Maya canals to Punta Allen. The full-day tour includes snorkeling and lunch for $125.

The diving and snorkeling are fabulous as well, with coral reefs and cenotes aplenty. Halocline Diving (tel. 984/120-6402; www.halocline-diving.com) at Orion Sur and Andromeda in downtown Tulum offers two-tank ocean dives for $75; snorkeling tours cost $25. Two-tank cenote dives cost $110, including transportation. Certified cave divers can explore dark cavern systems for $160 for two tanks.

Kiteboarding (also called kite-surfing) is hugely popular in Tulum, and the sea is dotted with bright kites when winds are blowing. Extreme Control (tel. 984/745-4555; www.extremecontrol.net) was one of the first operators in Tulum, and has a full-scale facility at El Paraiso Beach Club near the back entrance to the ruins, another facility at Cabañas Tulum, and a shop at the intersection of Avenida Tulum and the road to Cobá in downtown Tulum. Their introductory kiteboarding lesson costs $52. They also rent paddleboards, kayaks, and wave kayaks and surfboards. Mexico Kan Tours operates a kiteboarding school at the Ocho Tulum hotel.

MexiDivers (www.mexidivers.com; tel. 984/807-8805) at the Zamas Hotel on the beach offers two-tank ocean dives for $100 and ocean snorkeling tours for $40. Two-tank cenote dives start at $90. Dive certification classes are available, as are fishing trips.

Tulum's eclectic mix of locals and expats operates coffee bars, gelato shops, produce markets, and souvenir shops along Avenida Tulum and the beach road. The outstanding folk art shop Mixic, selling items collected throughout Mexico, has a branch across the road from Zamas hotel. Shalom, a high-end clothing boutique and folk art shop, also has branches in downtown and on the beach.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.